HOUSTON - You may not root for Matt Ryan on Super Sunday, but the Falcons quarterback is one of the most genuine athletes you’ll come across. The former Boston College star hasn’t forgotten his time at the Heights, nor the people that impacted him at the school.
In particular, Ryan speaks fondly, and with great pride, about his friend Pete Frates, whom the world later was introduced to as the man behind the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” designed to raise money and awareness for ALS.
“I met Pete at our freshman orientation, so before we even started school he was one of the first people I met at BC and we were friends from that point forward,” said Ryan at Atlanta’s final media availability before the Super Bowl. “He was such a great person to be around, he was friends with everyone and he is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Everyone seemingly at school was good friends with Pete. That’s just kind of the way he was.”
Ryan knew that Frates would be the right person to bring ALS into the public light at a much greater level than it had been prior. That’s just who Frates is.
“It doesn’t surprise me in the least that his personality, his charisma, have created such awareness for the ALS cause and for the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ to catch fire the way it did was a testament to Pete, the person that he is, and the relationships that he has with the people he kind of asked to help out at the beginning and I’m just…he’s an inspriration for me and for all people that know him.”
According to the New York Times, the “Ice Bucket Challenge” raised in excess of $115 million as of late July 2016.